August 6, 2011

egg fruit

Family: Sapotaceae

Synonyms: Lucuma campeciana, L. glabrifolia, L. heyderi, L. palmeri

English name: Egg fruit.

Other names: Sapota amarela, gema-de-ovo

I am so glad that many people have started to plant the egg fruit in Sarawak. Sandakan in Sabah is one of the larger producers of this fruit. The lúcuma (Pouteria lucuma)or egg fruit which is the size of an average apple is a subtropical fruit native to the Peru's Andean region. Lucuma has been found on ceramics at burial sites of the indigenous people of coastal Peru. The ancient race of Moche people had a fascination with agriculture and often chose to represent fruits and vegetables, including lucuma, in their art.

The fruit was first seen and reported by Europeans in the Chinchasuyu region of the Inca Empire in 1531. The name "eggfruit" refers to the fruits' dry flesh, which is similar in texture to a hard-boiled egg yolk. The lucuma has particularly dry flesh which possesses a unique flavor of maple and sweet potato. It is a very nutritious fruit, having high levels of carotene, vitamin B3, and other B vitamins. It is also known to be a good source of protein. And it is no wonder some locals in Sabah and Sarawak even call this is "Milk Mango" or Buah Susu. Some have started to call it Buah Mentega because of its butter like yellow colour.

The round or ovoid fruits are green, with a bright yellow flesh that is often fibrous. It grows at temperate elevations, between 1,000-2,400 metres. Temperatures of its elevated native range make the species technically subtropical, even though its native region is strictly tropical.

It has been grown successfully in subtropical foothills of California. Attempts at growing lucuma in Florida's climate typically fail. In addition to Ecuador, Peru, and Chile, the fruit is grown also to a limited extent in Bolivia and Costa Rica. It grows well in most tropical regions.

In South East Asia the fruit is also available in large quantities in Laos.

Within its own genus there are multiple species considered to have a superior flavor, such as the Mamey (Pouteria sapota), Abiu (P. caimito), Canistel (P. campechina), Green Sapote (P. viridis).

It has recently become popular as a dried powder flavoring, and production of fruits dried for export is increasing on a large scale. Lúcuma is a popular flavoring for ice cream in its native range, and in Chile and Peru even exceeds the demand for strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla.
I bought this fruit in the Limbang tamu - very "powdery" in texture.

Always keep the seeds after eating the fruit because they can be grown. However many people prefer to graft or bud for seedlings.

The ripe fruit needs to be hand picked and can be eaten without even peeling. Its flesh can be easily pressed opened by hand. Hence when buying the fruit it is best to ask if it has been handpicked. Fruits which have been harvest otherwise may not have the sweet fragrance.

Like most plants in Sarawak aphids seem to attack the trees very quickly. So a way must be found to control this pest.

I do hope that this new fruit will provide a good nutrition to children and adults alike in Sarawak.


wenn said...

nice name too..

CiXeL said...

had one around christmas in the pouring rain at fullerton arboretum in southern california. it doesnt matter though because the canistel is superior and fruits HEAVILY in south florida. still people arent exactly sure what to use the fruit for and it winds up occasionally as a shake or children lob them at each other as projectiles. mamey has a huge cultural significance among the cuban population in miami and mamey shakes are everywhere. much better flavor than canistel. mamey tastes something along the lines of pumpkin pie. its a rich hearty fruit and much too much for one person to eat in one sitting. green sapote is considered a superior flavor than mamey but there is alot less edible pulp in the fruit and it has to be grafted on a mamey sapote rootstock to do well in miami's climate.
abiu is kind of different altogether and more like star apple (caimito) with a light carmel flavor. very tasty. lucuma and canistel have more of a pasty texture.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Wenn...nice name..most of those grown in Sibu are exactly like eggs in shape..and the flesh is really like egg yolks..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear CiXel...Thanks for your valuable input./.

Ann said...

is this the same as Buah Chiku which your uncle Mr. Chong had a tree?

Sarawakiana@2 said... this is not the ciku...this is fairly bland as a fruit...fluffy and puffy..and if too old even powdery. But really tastes like egg yolk.

Anonymous said...

It is also clalled joy fruit?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

I am not sure..some people call it Milk Fruit too...and in Limbang and Lawas my friends call them "Buah Mentega"...Sibu people call it Egg Fruit.

Anonymous said... azlin from kl..any body from sarawak coming down to kl? can buy some of this fruit for me?....kind of craving lately for this fruit!..hehehehe

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